Buddhism,Karma, Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto and Born Again Buddhists

 

This story about  P.A Payutto, a well known Thai Buddhist monk. This story as well as many other talks and articles can be found at the website Buddhism Now. I always enjoy these type stories as they remind me of the Born Again Buddhists that I bump into.

The best way to explain a  Born Again Buddhist is an incident at a monastery in Thailand that is often visited by westerners. A young man asked the Ajahn about wearing a facemask. Why do you want to wear a facenmask? asked the monk. Because I worry about killing the microbes in the air. answered the young man. There was a moment of silence before some in the back of the group asked the youngster if he walked on air…

I guess we all miss the point from time to time, but some in funnier ways than others, IMHO

A certain Mr Porng went to visit the abbot of a nearby monastery, and he asked, ‘Luang Por [Reverend Father], the Buddha taught that everything is not-self and is without an owner—there is no one who commits karma and no one who receives its results. If that is the case, then I can go out and hit somebody over the head or even kill them, or do anything I like, because there is no one committing karma and no one receiving its results.’
No sooner had Mr Porng finished speaking than the abbot swung his walking stick down like a flash. Mr Porng could hardly get his arm up fast enough to ward off the blow. Even so, the stick struck solidly in the middle of his arm, giving it a good bruise. Clutching his sore arm, Mr Porng said, ‘Luang Por! Why did you do that?’ His voice trembled with the anger that was welling up inside him.

‘Oh! What’s the matter?’ the abbot asked offhandedly.

‘Why, you hit me! And it hurt!’

The abbot, assuming a tone of voice usually reserved for sermons, slowly murmured: ‘There is karma but no one creating it. There are results of karma, but no one receiving them. There is feeling, but no one experiencing it. There is pain, but no one in pain . . .  Those who try to use the law of not-self for their own selfish purposes are not freed of self; those who cling to not-self are those  who cling to self. They do not really know not-self. Those who cling to the idea that there is no one who creates karma must also cling to the idea that there is no one who is in pain. They do not really know that there is no one who creates karma and no one who experiences pain.’

The moral of this story is: if you want to say ‘there is no one who creates karma,’ you must first learn how to stop saying ‘Ouch!’

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